Last month we launched Verso with seven amazing elementary schools in Horry School District, South Carolina. Through pre-workshop conversations with some of the teachers and school leaders, I was inspired to test a few ideas about using Verso in a group or paired scenario.
The idea is nothing new but I was keen to see how group exercises could be used as a prelude to individual work. As we head from state to state, working with schools and school districts, we see that the vast majority of provocations created by our community of teachers are geared towards students using a device of their own. I was surprised that shared and paired work, which we know to be highly effective in the classroom, seems notable by its absence. As a tool for formative assessment, Verso offers authentic visibility on every student’s thinking and as such, I believe teachers have been inclined to gravitate towards the use of one to one activities.
With each student’s original idea serving as the key to unlock multiple perspectives, Verso engages learners in deep, relational thinking, whilst immersing them in multiple layers of feedback and feed forward. Higher order thinking and visibility on learning that allows teachers to adapt what happens next is powerful, however, I have to consider whether we are always gaining insight into student’s at their best.